Big Ten Has Three National Title Contenders, but None are Among the Favorites

Lots of college basketball pundits have deemed the Big Ten the strongest conference in the nation this season, and the numbers seen to verify this. From top to bottom, it’s the strongest conference in the country, but it’s strongest teams aren’t among the elite of the elite nationally.

The Big Ten has three teams, #6 Michigan State, #10 Michigan and #13 Purdue that have a legitimate shot of winning it all, but none are likely to earn a #1 seed on Selection Sunday. You won’t find any of that trio among the top favorites to be crowned kings of March Madness either. In short, the Midwestern based league, headquartered in Chicago, is just not top heavy enough.

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Vic Law is one of the Most Important Players in Northwestern Basketball History

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It will likely be a game time decision whether or not Northwestern senior wing Vic Law plays tonight in the Big Ten Tournament (“He’s very much questionable for the game,” NU coach Chris Collins said on the Big Ten Coaches Conference Call Monday), but his Wildcats legacy is already long cemented.

The St. Rita graduate and native of suburban South Holland collided with Big Ten scoring champ Carsen Edwards on Saturday, and the result was a cut to his shin which left him bleeding and unable to leave the court without being carried off. The good news is his basketball career won’t end with the scary scene on NU’s Senior Day.

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Illini WR Mike Dudek: rare bright spot in lost season

Mike Dudek Catch

Champaign, IL- While your statistics professor might give you a decent argument disputing it, Saturday’s loss to Iowa effectively ended the season for the Fighting Illini. Sitting at 4-5, Tim Beckman’s squad needed to win two games to gain bowl eligibility; the team’s primary goal for the 2014 season.

For three quarters, it looked like the Illini might actually notch number five, but the fourth quickly reminded the 50,373 frozen fans (and the thousands of fraternity and sorority members choosing to watch the game at Joe’s and Red Lion instead) that both wins and bowl games in the Tim Beckman era of Illinois Football are not easy to come by.

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2014 Notre Dame vs Purdue moved to Indy Lucas Oil Field

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The 2014 football game between Notre Dame and Purdue will be moved to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis (home of the Colts) instead of Notre Dame Stadium; the scheduled site for the 2014 rivalry. The game still counts as a home game for Notre Dame and will be televised on NBC at 7:30 EST. The meeting on Sept. 13 will be the last contest between the Irish and Boilermakers until Sept. 19, 2020.

The 2020 game will be held in West Lafayette at Purdue’s Ross-Ade Stadium.

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Big Ten football power rankings: lipstick on a pig edition

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During Big Ten football Saturdays like this, how do you spin what happened? How do you put lipstick on these pigs? And even though Northwestern out-gained an AWFUL Western Michigan team by just 126 yards, they’ve still earned the second slot.

You can argue that a different Big Ten football team deserves to be there. But my argument is pretty solid for NU. Also, Illinois gave up 615 yards and lost “at home,” and yet they move UP not down this week.

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Michigan Wolverines vs. Akron Zips: Brutally Honest Preview

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Coming off a big win over rival Notre Dame, the Michigan Wolverines look to improve their record to 3-0 against Akron. The Zips travel to Ann Arbor for a 12:01 kickoff in what will be their first meeting in the history of these football programs.

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Big Ten Week 1 Review: Purdue is terrible, PSU finds a QB, Nebraska D = AWFUL

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Every Big Ten team has a game in the books now. Here’s what we learned.

We knew Purdue and new coach Darrell Hazell had work to do coming into the 2013 season but— wow. Rob Henry and the Boilermaker offense had nothing, and their defense had even less, in their 42-7 loss to Cincinnati.

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Wisconsin Badgers Football: How they could go 12-0 or 0-12

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The Wisconsin Badgers enter the 2013 season in a very unique situation; they’ve won three straight Big Ten Championships but yet have an entirely new coaching staff.

Head Coach Gary Andersen leads a staff with one of the most talented rosters in America as Wisconsin returns 12 starters (six on defense and six on offense) and an eye towards the future.

Let’s take a look at each of the Badgers’ 12 opponents and talk about how they could beat them or lose to them.

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Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson III returning to Michigan

With Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III coming back, just how good will the Wolverines be next year? Sure, they lost Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke to the NBA Draft. And that’s huge. But look how much they have coming back.

The #1 ranked power forward and #2 overall recruit in the nation (according to ESPNU) Mitch McGary picked the Michigan Wolverines, over the Duke Blue Devils or Florida Gators. Now he’s picking Ann Arbor over the NBA Draft. Maybe Michigan won’t be just a “college football school” any more?

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Michigan makes it 5 consecutive NCAA Title game losses for Big Ten

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The Big Ten in the NCAA Title game of college basketball is starting to get like the Big Ten in bowl games versus the SEC in college football. Since Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans won the NCAA Title in 2000, the Big Ten has finished runner-up in the NCAA Title game five times: Hoosiers in 2002, Illini in 2005, Buckeyes in 2007,  Spartans in 2009, and now the Wolverines in 2013.

Louisville outlasted Michigan 82-76 to secure the NCAA title.

And I am emotionally spent! What else could you ask for as a college basketball fan watching a NCAA title game? It was full of runs, tough defense, hustle, and a hard fought victory in the closing minutes…it was simply a great game!

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Hoosiers Cody Zeller is apparently a hydroelectric engineer, on Twitter

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The #3 Indiana Hoosiers defeated the #1 Michigan Wolverines 81-73 as Cody Zeller scored 19 points.

It’s the third time in school history that the Hoosiers (19-2, 8-1 Big Ten) have beaten the No. 1 team at home, and the first time they’ve done it in back-to-back seasons. The win gives Indiana a five-game winning streak, sole possession of the Big Ten lead and likely the top spot in the country again when Monday’s rankings come out. But was this worth storming the court? How can IU fans storm the court after a game in which they were favored.

In addition to Michigan’s defeat, No. 2 Kansas lost 85-80 to Oklahoma State.  But let’s get back to Zeller and his Twitter account.

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Keys for the #3 Indiana Hoosiers against the #1 Michigan Wolverines

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Fans, analysts and (surely) the teams themselves have had this one circled all season.

Indiana and Michigan were projected to be the Big Ten’s two best teams before the beginning of the 2012-13 college basketball campaign, and each has held true to form — even if in inverse order to this point.

And at 9 p.m. today, the Hoosiers and Wolverines — both with 7-1 Big Ten marks — will go at it for sole possession of first place in the conference in Assembly Hall.

The No. 3 Hoosiers have won 14 of the last 15 home games against the Wolverines, who are No. 1 for the first time since the infamous “Fab Five” squad, but this unquestionably is the most talented roster Michigan has had since Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Jalen Rose, Ray Jackson and Jimmy King were causing sparks to fly in all directions in Ann Arbor.

How does Indiana win tonight?

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